Plant Biology

image courtesy Tim Patterson

Taught by Mary

Mary is a Ph.D. student at Columbia University studying Arctic plants, climate change, and the terrestrial carbon cycle. In 2008, she was described more than once as a “polymath” by a handful of ninth graders. When not cavorting about the tundra or planting Arabidopsis, Mary spends her time enjoying music, caffeine, and cheese.

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Class I: How plants grow
 Food. Wood. Oxygen.

Plants provide us with a number of our basic daily needs. But what are their needs for growth and existence? What allows a seed to become a tree? How do some plants persist over centuries and others only a year?

This class will introduce plant processes at the cell, organism, and ecosystem level that underlie growth. The basics of photosynthesis, respiration, hormones will be presented. (I’ll even tell you how I first fell in love with Auxin…)

The class will be interactive and the scientific method will be employed – so bring your skepticism! Walk away with a newfound appreciation for chlorophyll.

Class II: Arctic Ecosystems and Climate Change

The Arctic is warming at a faster rate than the rest of the world. You may have noticed this from the sad pictures of polar bears drifting away on ice floes. While adorable, polar bears are far from the only species at risk of drastic changes. Learn about larger scale processes at work now that are altering this vast landscape.

The focus of this class will be on plant and soil interactions (if you are not yet aware how important soil is… prepare to be amazed!), but also touch on migratory birds and mammals.

As with the previous class, come with questions and skepticism. In addition to topical content, I will give an overview on the professional side of science – how hypotheses are tested, what theories mean, and how observations are presented and shared to the public. Learn to think like a scientist, question nature, and seek evidence.

This class, like alllll of the others, happens at the Brainery space at 515 Court St in Brooklyn, on the corner of W 9th and Court.

Cancellation policy